Fabric awnings are inexpensive additions to your home or establishment that can add color, flair, style, and extra living space. Business establishments like hotels, coffee shops or restaurants can add more space for customers by installing awnings as outdoor canopies.

Available in several models, colors, designs, and sizes that can fit any space, fabric awnings can be a worthwhile addition that enhance an otherwise bland space. In this post, you will learn the following:

Retractable awnings use pliable and foldable materials, and although fabric made from polyester, which is one of the most common options, you can opt to use canvas, vinyl, plastic, acrylic or solution dyed acrylic. But for the purpose of this post, since all these awning materials have almost the same market price, we will just use the general term “fabric” to represent all of them.

This post will show the average cost to fabric awning installations to help you gauge a budget for your planned awning project.

You will also find a comprehensive list of pros and cons of fabric awnings to help you decide if this is the type of awning that fits your requirement. Use this information to check other awning products and compare them with fabric awnings before deciding on which to purchase.

After reading, you should be able to identify your awning type preference, and check how much it will cost to buy the materials and hire a professional awning contractor online.

How Much Do Fabric Awnings Cost?

If you’re in the early stages of planning your awning project, you’re probably wondering – how much does a fabric awning cost? Below is a table showing a simple fabric awning installation that should give you an idea of how to estimate your project.

ItemQuantityLow EstimateHigh Estimate
Fabric Awning Cost6ft x 3ft fabric with aluminum frame1 Unit$440$540
Labor CostBasic labor cost for complete installation2 Hours$60$150
Installation SuppliesCost of adhesives, screws, and fasteners1 Batch$13$15
Equipment RentalHourly rental of power tools 1 Batch$30$70
Total$543$775

Notes:

  • An RV or travel trailer awning fabric cost might be slightly higher due to the need for a car or trailer mechanic.
  • A business or commercial fabric awning cost should still be the same as a home variant awning unless there is a requirement for branding or signage.
  • Weatherproof and exterior grade awning fabric cost will be higher due to additional treatment necessary to make it water resistant. A stronger, enhanced awning frame will also be used to support the awning during bad weather.

Pros of a Fabric Awning

Fabric is one of the most popular materials used for awnings due to its many advantages.

Does not rust

Being exposed to the elements, metal cover awnings will oxidize and rust. This makes fabric awnings suitable for places with a tropical climate. Although some metal, like aluminum, is rust resistant it can actually corrode and breakdown with constant exposure to sun and rain.

Easy to replace

A falling branch or a stray baseball can damage an awning. Metal ones will naturally shrug off the damage, but this can easily crack a fiberglass awning and tear a fabric one. Replacing fabric is quicker, easier, and less expensive than fiberglass.

Easier to customize

A fabric awning is more customizable since the material is easier to cut, bend, and fold. Fabric also presents a wide variety of colors, textures, designs, and prints.

Retractable or foldable

Retractable awnings with fabric covers can be retracted or folded when there is a storm, heavy rain, or snow that can damage the awning. When unused, the awning cover can be removed if needed and stored for safekeeping.

Less expensive

Canvas and other fabric awnings are less expensive than metal or aluminum cover awnings. Also, the cost to get new awning fabric to replace old ones is cheaper than metal or fiberglass.

Cons of a Fabric Awning

While there are a number of advantages in using fabric for awnings, there are still some drawbacks.

Growth of mold and mildew

Rain and moisture can lead to mold and mildew on the fabric. Especially if the awning was retracted or rolled in without allowing it to dry first.

Fading colors

The combination of rain and extreme UV exposure from sunlight can cause fabric colors to fade quicker. Although there are special fabrics like solution dyed acrylic, for example, that retain their colors longer, the sun’s bleaching effect will still cause fading in the long run.

Need to replace after a few years

Aside from fading, exposure to the elements will cause the fabric material to age and become brittle, which will require you to replace the fabric after a few to many years depending on the fabric type chosen. Although the cost for new awning fabric is still cheaper than other materials, you should consider a metal or fiberglass type if you regularly replace them due to damage.

Damage easily compared to other rugged materials

Heavy snow, strong winds, and even small animals can damage fabric awnings, so it is advisable to retract them when not being used. Unlike metal awnings, which are more durable and can last decades.

Not as protective

Fabric awnings provide shade and protection from the elements. But they are not designed to stand up to typhoons and hail. If your property is located in areas frequented by inclement weather, consider steel framed and metal covered awnings.

Costs of Installing A Fabric Awning

You have two options when installing a fabric awning – you can either do it yourself or hire a professional awning contractor.

A simple fabric awning measuring about 6 feet or less in width should be easy to install even for a novice handyman. The lightness of the material will also make it easy even for a single person to manage the installation. Installation can be done in less than one day and requires the use of a drill and some measuring skills. As stated earlier, if professionally installed, labor costs will range from $60 to $150.

However, for larger fabric awnings it may be advisable to hire a professional awning installer, contractor or handyman such as those at https://www.awninginstallers.com/. Labor cost may range from $200 to $400 or more depending on size and number of brackets to install for a complete installation. Installation time will differ depending on the size and complexity of the project but most can be completed in 8 hours or less. Larger awnings may need at least 2 installers, which can add to labor cost.

The mechanism to retract the awning may be complicated to install for non-professionals and mechanical awnings have electric components that should only be handled by licensed electricians if hardwired. If plugged in to a standard 110v outlet (GFI recommended) an electrician is not needed.

Conclusion

Properly installed and quality fabric awnings can add aesthetic value, design character, and dimension to any home or establishment. There are many factors that go into planning for a fabric awning and it is best to approach online vendors to get professional input and pricing quotes.
We hope this post can serve as your guide in deciding what awning to purchase. Lastly, remember that awnings are meant to improve your deck, patio and other outdoor venues, rejuvenate bland spaces, provide privacy, and protect your property from sun and rain. Consider these functions when choosing your next awning.